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Hi there,

Like many artists, I am currently transitioning from making pottery in a community studio to working at home which is a big adjustment with an even bigger learning curve! I'll be setting up my very first kiln in the coming weeks and now need to figure out (for the first time) what the best commercial glazes out there are for the clay I'm using. 

For now I am using Standard #112 clay, and I will also eventually be working with their #551 Porcelain (both cone 6). I will be firing in a Skutt Km818 electric kiln. 

I have two big questions. First, does anyone have any tips on good commercial glazes to use on the #112 for a good fit? I'm specifically looking for a simple & reliable black, white and/or grey (glossy or matte), as well as other simple colors like cream, peach, soft/pale greens, yellows and generally neutral, organic tones. I like the look of flat color, and not necessarily layering. I've noticed that Coyote's Enduro-colors are really lovely and just my taste but I have zero experience with this company. Does anyone use these glazes?

Has anyone tried Standard Clay CO's line of glazes? I just discovered those exist.

Lastly, since much of my work is done by hand-painting AMACO Velvet underglazes, I now need to find a good zinc-free clear to put on top of both these clay bodies. Ideally, I'd love to find a  glossy clear that won't craze or make my underglazes designs smudge or bleed color. 

This is a very overwhelming undertaking as a first-timer, so I'd love some feedback and guidance! Thanks! 

 

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KCamm,

I was an art teacher at a central PA Hs, that started teaching Ceramics in the early 70's. We started with ^06 pottery, but I was not happy with the several attributes of the 06 clay, plasticity, absorption, and overall feel was not what I was used to coming from ^10 in college.

I turned to SC in the Spring of '75, looking for a new clay body. They helped me out by supplying several ^6 bodies of which #112 was one of them. I used #112 with glazes from SC, Minnesota Clay, Amaco, and A.R.T. Most  of these reacted well to the 112 with glaze fit and color. We found the best results with layering dipped glazes, or base glaze with spraying with an atomizer or a compressor and spray gun. We had over 20 glaze test tiles of various glazes from different suppliers.

As far as the Velvet underglazes, you probably realize they do need a white base for best color. We would use a white slip, or and underglaze and then paint on that, covering with a sprayed transparent.

We worked this way for several years, transitioning from gal. mixed wet glazes to dry glazes in 25# glazes. Things were working well until we were hit with a 20% budget cut, that meant something had to give. I moved to mixing glazes on my own with a little investment of money in a triple beam and some base materials for the next year. This happened around '85, and continued until I retired in 2009. I also had the 225, as it did not have the manganese in it, and used it at home while I was teaching. This way no one could accuse me of using school clay for my pottery.

best,

Pres

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54 minutes ago, KCamm said:

Hi there,

Like many artists, I am currently transitioning from making pottery in a community studio to working at home which is a big adjustment with an even bigger learning curve! I'll be setting up my very first kiln in the coming weeks and now need to figure out (for the first time) what the best commercial glazes out there are for the clay I'm using. 

For now I am using Standard #112 clay, and I will also eventually be working with their #551 Porcelain (both cone 6). I will be firing in a Skutt Km818 electric kiln. 

I have two big questions. First, does anyone have any tips on good commercial glazes to use on the #112 for a good fit? I'm specifically looking for a simple & reliable black, white and/or grey (glossy or matte), as well as other simple colors like cream, peach, soft/pale greens, yellows and generally neutral, organic tones. I like the look of flat color, and not necessarily layering. I've noticed that Coyote's Enduro-colors are really lovely and just my taste but I have zero experience with this company. Does anyone use these glazes?

Has anyone tried Standard Clay CO's line of glazes? I just discovered those exist.

Lastly, since much of my work is done by hand-painting AMACO Velvet underglazes, I now need to find a good zinc-free clear to put on top of both these clay bodies. Ideally, I'd love to find a  glossy clear that won't craze or make my underglazes designs smudge or bleed color. 

This is a very overwhelming undertaking as a first-timer, so I'd love some feedback and guidance! Thanks! 

 

Hopefully others will have suggestions on commercial glazes, for me I only found a few and resorted to building up a supply of glaze recipes that worked with our stuff. Since much of what we do is underglaze and also mostly porcelain we just ended up developing a clear and matte clear that fit and did not affect our underglazes. From there we can tint and color these bases to come up with some consistent looks. Never di find a commercial clear that seemed to work well.

This did lead to about five years of solid glaze study and testing however, which was very enlightening to say the least. I know many folks who have a couple of go to commercial glazes that mostly perform for them so hopefully you will get some suggestions. Just in the end you likely will also end up with some recipes that you develop on your own as well.

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Hi KCamm, here's a tip sheet from Coyote on glaze fit, most of the glazes will fit the 112 except for the 'Archie's Series'. I haven't tried their Enduro colors but as they're made as liner glazes, they'll probably be a good fit. The 112 has granular manganese added, the specks will show through some glazes but not all. Coyote's Black looks great on every clay I've used it on including 112, their White is also very reliable. For a more translucent white, the Eggshell is one of my favorites. I haven't tried the Standard glazes, difficult to find a supplier for those. Amaco's zinc free clear has always worked for me, no crazing or other glaze faults.

I have different uses for glaze than yours, as I look for glazes that 'break' on texture.  I have  favorite types of glazes from each company's selection. For me, I like Amaco's  Clear glazes, Celadons and their Potter's Choice 'float' glazes such as Blue Rutile and Indigo Float. Mayco and Duncan also have some really nice float type glazes, and I'd think any of their glazes will be quite reliable. For mattes, I like Georgies glazes, they're 'stony' mattes which I love. Coyote glazes are great for their black and white glazes as mentioned, but the Shinos work especially well for my textured pieces. Their 'Archies' series can produce beautiful results, but they run A  Lot...and can shiver on 112 unfortunately. Spectrum glazes I've also found are quite runny. Haven't tried many Laguna glazes, but I do use the 'Robin's Egg' and it's really pretty but a pain to photograph because it's so reflective.

Coyote and Georgie's both sell 'sample packs' of their glazes, here are Coyote's, they have the Enduro glazes as one option.

If you are going to be brushing glazes, I've found that Amaco, Mayco, and Duncan have more 'brushability' as they contain more gum than Coyote or Georgie's, which feel more like studio glazes because of how fast they dry, but they aren't hard to get even coats with practice.

I make small handbuilt items so a pint of glaze goes a long way, but if you'll be making larger items they may go very quickly and are quite expensive!  If I could go back to when I started I probably would have bought the materials to make my own glazes, it takes a bit of time to learn and test, but whoo when I look at how much I've spent on commercial glazes...though they did teach me a lot about different types of glazes and how they look on various clay bodies so they did serve their purpose.

Hope this helps and hope you enjoy your new at-home studio :)

 

 

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This is all very helpful, thank you!

Marian-when they refer to them as "liner glazes" what exactly does that mean? That they are intended to be thick, like for the interior of bowls that might get a lot of wear and tear? 

Which of Coyote's blacks & whites do you like?There are multiple types- for instance, with black they offer Black, licorice, charcoal satin, espresso Bean & sorcerer's stone.

I actually like how the manganese in the #112 shows through most glazes a little because I love the speckle. I'm assuming I'll be able to pour on a smaller scale- like if I just want to line the interior of a mug with white, as I often do. Otherwise, if probably have to brush in larger pieces which I know can be tricky. I remember trying the Amaco mattes years ago and having issues with streakiness.

I actually use the velvet underglazes directly on the 112 and seal with a clear, but I do want to try putting down a base of white for more neutral colors-- if you're not making your own, should I just buy porcelain casting slip for this or is there something else I should be using? 

Ideally years down the road I may try mixing my own glazes, but right now there is so much to learn- even just about throwing and firing at home...baby steps! 

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14 hours ago, KCamm said:

when they refer to them as "liner glazes" what exactly does that mean? That they are intended to be thick, like for the interior of bowls that might get a lot of wear and tear? 

Liner glazes should be craze free, well balanced glazes that are chemically sound. They typically don't contain any heavy (transition) colouring oxides, usually are clear or white in colour and contain as much silica and alumina as possible to create a durable glaze. They don't need to be any thicker than what is necessary to get a normal coverage. 

Welcome to the forum!

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The Coyote glazes I've used are Black MBG002, I also use the Charcoal Satin. For the white ones, White MBG023 gloss, Eggshell, Alabaster Satin, Creamy White matte. I like all of them, my least favorite though is the Creamy White matte, it almost feels 'greasy'. I also had a sample pack of the 'Texas Two Steps' 'oil spot' glazes and used the Marshmallow over the 'base' glazes, it breaks up very nicely. The Licorice from the same series is also nice, as is the Espresso. 

I haven't used a white slip over the 112, but have used a porcelain slip over red clays including Earthen Red from Highwater, Sheltowee from KY Mudworks, and 4d3B from Sheffield Pottery, my main supplier. Worth a try using the slip on the 112, I'm bisque firing some this week, will try a porcelain slip and get back to you with the results.

I know that you mean about the learning curve on glazes, there's a recent thread here regarding Glazy recipes, still don't have a good grip on the chemistry, tend to 'glaze over' --pardon the pun-- when I see the explanations. Sounds like you may be more into surface decoration right now, I do the same, I'd like to try as many ways of decorating as I can, commercial glazes offer a fast way to jump right into creating without the time, dedication, and testing that learning glaze formulation requires. Someday though, when I run out of pints, think I'll give the Falls Creek shino and Clear w/mason stains recipes a go.

Don't know if it's allowed on the forums, but PM me and I can send some samples of the ones I have. Coyote in general has really good glazes from what I've used so far, they're very helpful customer service as well, they'd probably be happy to answer any questions you have about their glazes--

Best wishes, M.

 

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